Everton defender John Stones will make his first cap for England in tonight's international friendly with Norway. He is one of five players in manager Roy Hodgson's squad who are aged 22 or under, with Arsenal midfield duo Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Liverpool's Raheem Sterling and Manchester United's Phil Jones also named in the team. Uncapped midfielder Jack Colback missed out through injury while Arsenal's new signing Danny Welbeck is also sidelined after picking up a knock in training. Goalkeeper Ben Foster is another casualty after injuring his thumb, and has returned to his club West Brom as a "precautionary measure". Norway manager Per-Mathias Hogmo has named a few familiar faces in his squad to face England. Norwich City midfielder Alexander Tettey, Celtics Stefan Johansen, Cardiff Citys Mats Moller Daehli and Blackburn Rovers striker Joshua King have all been called upon and could feature against the Three Lions. However, 15-year-old starlet Martin Odegaard will have to wait for his second senior cap for his country as he misses out. (BBC)
England and Norway have met on 11 previous occasions. The Three Lions' record in this fixture is P11, W6, D3 L2. The heaviest win in this fixture was England's 6-0 victory on 14 May 1937. Norway will be facing England in London for the first time in 20 years.
Following the international retirements of trio Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, England manager Roy Hodgson could be giving fans a glimpse of the future with his first-team set-up. In his starting XI to face Norway tonight are five players aged 22 or under, with his squad boasting plenty of fresh faces. Defender John Stones will make his first ever cap for the Three Lions, and while the more familiar names of Phil Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Raheem Sterling are all there, Hodgson's line-up is no less adventurous. These are brave new times for the England side, who will have to make do without stalwarts Lampard and Gerrard. And while Hodgson has handed some of his youth team players rare starts, this fixture itself is rare. Norway will be facing England in London for the first time in 20 years when they travel to Wembley Stadium, though they themselves have some familiar names in their ranks. Norwich City midfielder Alexander Tettey could feature, as could Blackburn Rovers striker Joshua King. It will be interesting to see how England fare against tonight's opposition, who are 53rd in the FIFA world rankings, 33 spots below England in 20th. On paper the Three Lions are clear favourites, though I wouldn't expect a repeat of the heaviest win in this fixture, being the 6-0 victory achieved by the English on 14th May 1937. Prediction: 2-0
Joseph is an accredited football journalist and has interviewed nearly all of the current 20 Barclay's Premier League managers. He is also a correspondent for Bleacher Report and has written for Caught Offside and Give Me Football.